Bailing Out

The Story

A charity connected to the Kennedy family has announced it will cover the bail costs of women and juveniles in city jails, regardless of the severity of the charges against them. The charity says it wants to call attention to the inhumanity of the bail system, which is based on cash bonds. While there is plenty of room for reform, putting up money for bail ensures that defendants awaiting trial have a stake in the outcome and will show up for trial; it also prevents disputes from spiraling out of control.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Bail: Bail serves as a form of personal insurance to compel people to show up for trial. Read more.

  2. Mercy: New York City has already reduced the number of people detained on bail through supervised release and other programs. Read more.

  3. Safety: New York State disallows consideration of public safety when setting bail, which means that potentially dangerous people can get bailed out. Read more.

“What about the victims? What about witness intimidation? What about retaliation?”

NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

When Bail Fails By Dennis C. Vacco (Summer 1997)

“Nineteen-year-old Jonathan Parker sits in jail today awaiting trial, accused of murdering decorated Buffalo cop Charles McDougald (and wounding his partner, Michael Martinez) on April 9. But after repeated run-ins with the law, what was a gun-toting, drug-dealing menace like Parker doing on the streets in the first place?”

And in other news...

“One year after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority launched an $800-million rescue plan for New York City’s subway, transit officials say the worst is over.”